It is no wonder that there are raging conflicts over the name and nature of God, over “God’s will,” over religion, over religious prophecies, and over whether God even exists or not.
It’s no wonder because most people do not really understand the real nature of God, or the true purpose of religion. That is especially true of those on the opposite sides of the conflict and argument — Theocrats want to rule or control society “in the name of God,” and Atheists who react against theocratic imposition and go so far as to fight to try to prove God doesn't even exist.
However, it is also true of many who are more moderate or in the middle, who are religious or "spiritual but not religious," or agnostics or non-religious humanists, who also do not realize what God really is.
A more accurate concept of God may end the conflicts and divisions. Therefore, what is needed is a rational, reasonable analysis distinguishing between competing concepts of God and religion, and the real nature of God.
In many of the Judeo-Christian traditions, which must be addressed because they are the most widespread and widely followed, the concept of God is as an almighty superman magician who is the creator of all that is, who makes everything happen. And he is often depicted as a man with a long beard — an image reminiscent of how Zeus from Greek mythology is depicted.
Of course, that concept was established in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition because Moses wrote the term "living God." Then the book of Joshua, who was given leadership authority following Moses, states: “And Joshua said to the children of Israel, ‘Come here and hear the words of the Lord your God.’ And Joshua said, ‘Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you ...” (Joshua 3:9-10)
However, that phrase, "the living God is among you," has been grossly misunderstood. Like the idea that Man is made in "God's image," it has led many people to reach the conclusion that God is a personal god, a man, and even an almighty superman. That's because in the texts of Judaism, which is the foundation of Christianity and Islam, the Lord God Jehovah is referred to as “He” and “Him,” and Jesus of Nazareth is quoted as calling God “Our Father in heaven.”
However, there is ample evidence in the texts of both Judaism and Christianity that contradicts that idea, and reveals that God is not a person. For in fact, God was not made in Man's image, even though many men would like to think so. We, in fact, are made in God's "image," which is why we are "children of Light."
For example, Moses wrote: "God is not a man, nor a son of man." (Numbers 23:19) And Isaiah wrote that we should not liken God to any man; nor regard any man equal to God; nor worship any idol or image of any man. That is what Isaiah 40:18, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, and Isaiah 46:5 mean. And that is why Jesus said to his disciples: “God is greater than I,” (John 14:28) and "You have not heard the voice of God or seen God's shape at any time." (John 5:37)
The idea that God is a man, or a personal god, is not only contrary to facts revealed in all religious texts, it is problematic. When people believe God can literally "speak" to them, it can cause deluded people to believe that God "told" them to do something. And that is why there have been so many "religious" leaders who have led their blind flocks astray, and countless deluded madmen have committed atrocious acts because they thought God told them to do it.
The truth, as Jesus said, is that you cannot hear God's voice, or see God's shape. And God, which you call it Jehovah or Yahweh or Allah or Brahman or Arura Mazda or Wakan Tanka or some other name, is in fact not a man.
In fact, the English name Jehovah is actually misleading. It is the English translation of four Hebrew letters which have been called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek word meaning "four letters"). They are commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH, but the original four Hebrew letters were written not as a name but as a verb meaning “to be,” and it is better understood as "I exist," or 'I am," and as "I am that I am, that which was, is, and will always be" (which is why Jesus also used that phrase according to John's book of Revelation). But the “I” is not a person, and it does not refer to a man.
Another scriptural reference to that fact was when Moses asked God what he should tell the people of Israel if they asked who sent him, "God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I Am has sent me to you." -- Exodus 3:14
The Holy Name of God actually refers to the eternal, infinite, omnipresent Holy Spirit of God the Great Spirit-Parent, which can also be called the Divine Light-Energy-Source of our existence, the Essence of all life and form, and the primordial vibration or "Word" that is made flesh in all human beings. It is the Supreme Universal Consciousness and life force which was, is, and shall always be. And, as Jesus said, God can be realized and recognized from within.
A modern interpretation of biblical evidence, considered in the light of all the modern evidence not included in the scriptures, the evidence from other religious sources, the scientific evidence, and the revelation of the modern son of man who directly experienced and realized God, leads to that conclusion and a better way to describe God.
In Judeo-Christian scriptures Jehovah or Yahweh is referred to as The Lord, The Lord God, God, The Lord of Hosts, and Lord of Lords because in Jewish tradition the name or word for God cannot be spoken and we are not to take the actual name of the Lord our God in vain. Therefore, even though in the scriptures we are told to praise, honor, call on and refer to the Holy Name of God, it is terms like that we should use. That is, for instance, why Jesus of Nazareth said we should pray to our God in heaven saying, “Hallowed (or Holy) be your name.”
All of that reveals why Jesus of Nazareth said to his disciples: “You have not heard God’s voice or seen God’s shape at any time.” (John 5:37) Having realized the true nature of God, Jesus knew what was known long before Abraham and Moses, that God cannot be heard or seen in this world. That is why he said the “kingdom of heaven comes not with observation in the world,” and the Spirit of truth can be realized only from within.
The truth is that the original inspirations or revelations that planted the seeds of the world’s divinely inspired religions came from the same Source, and human beings have realized the essential nature of that Source at different times and different places in the world throughout history. They just described it and named it in different ways, because each human being perceives things from their own point of view, and describes things from their own frame of reference. Consequently, while divinely inspired religions were all derived from the same Source God, they are different in the way they express the will and the nature of God.
Religions are also different because their founders, and/or the author or authors of the texts that became the scriptures of religions, were only human. They included not only their descriptions, explanations and interpretations of what they received through realization and revelation. In certain cases they also included their own judgments and opinions. And some of those were inaccurate or even wrong, or were later interpreted in inaccurate and erroneous ways by followers.
Today there are religious zealots who believe otherwise. They vehemently insist that the texts of their religion are “The Word of God,” not understanding that the true Word of God cannot be spoken or written. However, many people have understood that for a very long time, and throughout human history there have been many periods of relative enlightenment.
For example, in the 1700s, before, during and after the American Revolution, certain people understood the basic truth about religions. Many creative, innovative thinkers in the 1700s during the period historians call “The Enlightenment” in Europe and America realized that, and some of them were Founders of the United States of America. That is why in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution the Founders used generic terms like “Creator” and “Nature’s God” rather than mention any particular religion or religious figure.
At that time Deism and Freemasonry were very influential among educated people because they recognized God the Deity but rejected dogma and superstition, and they realized how and why misguided, theocratic organized religion had been responsible for the Dark Ages, the Inquisitions, the Crusades, and much of the military industrial imperialism that plagued the world for many centuries.
The Founders of the United States of America understood that, and they realized that there can be no freedom of religion unless government is impartial and neutral regarding religions. They realized that names such as Jehovah, Brahman, the Absolute Tao, the Supreme Consciousness and Allah were merely different names for the Creator who has been recognized and realized by a good many enlightened ones all over the world throughout history.
That is why Thomas Jefferson wrote the following: “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion," the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.” — From Jefferson’s Autobiography, in reference to his Act for Religious Freedom
That is also why Jefferson wrote, voicing the belief of the majority of the Founders: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
Today Americans need to learn how Jefferson and most of the other Founders felt about religion, and we need to follow the lead of the Founders and go further. We need to have a new period of enlightenment, a new renaissance, and new reformation, realizing not only the real nature of God, but the true purpose of religions.
Similar Concepts of God
One who “sees” and realizes God realizes the same thing that was realized by all other human beings who have realized God. Their perception and comprehension of that may differ, and they may form different concepts of what they have seen, felt and experienced, but because the essence of what they realized is the same, there are remarkable similarities in the concepts of God that we find in the world’s religious scriptures.
For example, in the ancient Hindu Vedas and Upanishads, written in Sanskrit, the Creator or Causal Source was called Brahman. And what the Hindu writings say about Brahman and the relationship between it and human beings is much like what was later expressed by Hindu Avatars, by Lao Tzu in The Book of Tao, by the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, by several writers of the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh (Old Testament), and by Jesus of Nazareth as well.
Some people will be shocked that the Buddha Gautama is included in that list, because some of the original followers of Gautama and many scholars since have concluded that the Buddha didn’t think much of the notion of an omnipotent deity as an entity or a supreme being or creator. However, the Buddha Gautama did realize and recognize the Supreme Universal Consciousness, and, like Jesus, he realized it was within him and within us.
Of course, the Buddha Gautama did not perceive it in terms of an entity, and especially not as a person with gender. However, as you will see, the Buddha’s perception is actually compatible with what all truly enlightened ones perceived and expressed, including Isaiah when he wrote that we can compare God to no man, and Jesus when he said God has no shape.
We should understand that the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama was born in a royal Hindu family and was quite familiar with the Hindu Vedas and Upanishads. In fact, it was because he learned from them that union or “oneness” with “Brahman” or the invisible Source was possible that he decided to ignore the world and look within for the divine Source consciousness, and find or realize it no matter how long it took.
We should also understand that Jesus of Nazareth was also familiar with the Hindu Vedas, which is why some of the parables he taught were similar to what are in the Vedas. In fact, there is considerable evidence that Jesus understood not only Judaism and Hinduism, but Buddhism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism as well.
That is not generally known, however, because what we read in the Christian Bible (as we know it) does not clearly indicate that Jesus had such an inclusive world view. On the contrary, Paul and most of the other authors of the epistles and texts that made it into the official Christian church canon thought they were supposed to create a new, predominant religion that would replace all others. But that is not true.
The truth is that the mission of Jesus was to reform, clarify and unite religions, because he knew that the Israelite God Jehovah is the same as the Hindu God Brahman, which is the Supreme Universal Spirit, the origin and support of material universe, and the causal source and essence of all life and form. It is, in some schools of Vedic thought, called the Godhead — which can also be thought of as the Great Spirit-Parent.
Granted, Jesus may have called God “our Father in heaven.” But remember, Christian texts are concerned with what Jesus taught Jews and Greeks in the Mid-East, and since the Jews were familiar with the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh of Judaism, and the Greeks were familiar with the Greek translation of the Hebrew texts (the Septuagint), that is the frame of reference Jesus used to teach them. And again, some of the authors of the Hebrew Jewish texts referred to God as “He” and “Him.”
The Hindu Vedas and Upanishads don’t assign gender to Brahman, but rather recognize that God has many aspects, both male and female in character (often referred to as “gods” by people who misunderstand). In Hinduism, Brahman cannot be seen or heard, although its reality and nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge, or self-realization — realization that comes with the union of Brahman and "Atman," which is the union of the Divine Spirit with the human being.
In Christian terms the union of Brahman and Atman is the same phenomenon as the union of God the "Father" and a child of God (which is why Jesus said “I and my Father are one,” and why the Christian apostle John wrote that "We are the sons of God.") And, according to Advaita Vedanta, which is a comprehensive interpretation of the Upanishads, a liberated or enlightened human being has realized Brahman as one with his or her own inner true self (Atman).
The Isha Upanishad says that the Supreme Brahman is infinite, and the infinite proceeds from the infinite. That is similar to what the Book of Tao says, that: "All things derive their life from it [Tao], All things return to it, and it contains them." And that it is very similar to what Jesus said according to the ignored Gospel of Mary Magdalene: "All natures, all formed things, all creatures exist in and with one another and will again be resolved into their own roots, because the nature of matter is dissolved into the roots of its nature alone."
All these things point to the truth of the matter, because even though there are words and phrases in the scriptures of Judaism and Christianity that lead people to conceive of God as “Him,” as a man and a "Father," that is not true. Those references are merely to provide a frame of reference, for lack of a better way of describing God, and, as has been pointed out, their implications are contradicted by many other things written in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
No human being, even one who has fully realized the nature of God, can possibly fathom or describe God, because one cannot describe what is eternal, infinite, omnipresent, and unseen. How can one describe the ultimate, pure, universal love that only the heart knows and the mind and intellect cannot comprehend?
Again, perhaps the best we can do is say that God is the Divine Light-Energy-Source-Consciousness, the Essence of all life and form. But that Divine Light-Energy Source Consciousness is not like the light of the sun or stars or flame or electricity. It is exceedingly brighter than anything like that, and it is what created or produced everything including the largest sun and star.
It is what sparked the original creation of all material matter, form and life, from nothing. It wasn’t necessarily a “big bang,” because there was nothing to bang. The Big Bang Theory was a very good guess, though, because it was established by Georges Lemaître who was both a great scientist and a deeply spiritual priest. His beliefs and theories and the story of his life (click here) challenge the assumption that science and religion are in conflict.
The material universe more likely sprang automatically from the spiritual “root” of the nature of matter, and that root existed prior to form, life and matter. That is why the mystical part of Judaism, the Kabbalah (aka Qabalah), teaches that God is “No Thing,” and like any true spiritual teaching it too points the true seeker of truth to that ultimate truth that can come only from within.
Of course, today many people speak of God as “The Universe,” which is true in a very significant way. God is in everything. It is the pure essence of every thing – from the smallest nano-particle to the atom to the galaxy to the universe itself – and it is Pure Consciousness in vibratory motion.
As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi more recently said: "All life emerges from, and is sustained in, consciousness. The whole universe is the expression of consciousness. The reality of the universe is one unbounded ocean of consciousness in motion."
Another way of putting it was as Meher Baba did, that: “There is no creature which is not destined for the supreme goal, as there is no river which is not winding its way toward the sea. But only in the human form can consciousness be so developed that it is capable of expressing the True Self, which is the Self of All."
The True Self is not our separate self-conscious ego. It’s our inner soul and spirit, which knows its Oneness with God and all humanity. That is why the current Dalai Lama has said, "The message we hear from all sources of truth is clear: We are all one."
No witness of God who actually realizes that explains it the same way. Like beauty, the divine truth is in the eye of the beholder. We are unique in our perceptions, our conceptions, our descriptions, our explanations, and our points of view. But we are all a part of the Whole.
The Basic Concepts, Foundation, Development, and Nature of Religions
Some very ancient religions were based on superstitious ideas and concepts of a god or gods, a higher power or powers that controlled nature and the weather, etc. Those ideas generally led ancient peoples to believe that if they pleased god or the gods, they would be blessed by good fortune, and that if they displeased the god or gods, they would suffer.
That was the origin of religion, even Judaism (which is the foundation of Christianity and Islam), because the covenant God made with the Jewish people through Moses on Mt. Sinai was conditional upon their behavior. And many of the Jewish prophets foresaw that the nation of Israel would break the covenant, behave badly, be a rebellious people, practice war, and forsake the ways of love, wisdom and peace.
Of course, the very basic idea of ancient religions is not far off the mark. For even though there is not an actual invisible entity or ethereal superman-magician in the sky waving his magic wand, there is a natural universal process at work in the world and it has nothing to do with man-made constructs or concepts or superstitions.
The fact is that from every cause there is a natural effect, from every event or action there is a consequence. Even scientists explain that every action tends to create a like reaction, and the law of reciprocity is taught in law, theology, and sciences. It is a basic truth that was long ago explained as karmic consequence, and later as the idea that we reap what we sow, and that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword.
That is why every religion has its version of the Golden Rule made famous by the great Jewish sage Hillel the Elder, and then restated by Jesus of Nazareth, which can now be thought of as the Universal Divine Imperative: Treat all others as you would want to be treated if you were them.
The Gift of Revelation
Most of the major religions of today were originated through the realization or revelation of the great infinite divine reality or God, or at least an aspect of it, because throughout human existence, certain people have received the gift of revelation.
However, there are various levels of revelation. Basically, at the low end of the spectrum there are relatively small but nevertheless profound singular revelations whereupon one realizes a certain truth or recognizes a certain aspect of the divine reality. But, the highest level of revelation comes through a series of revelations.
In that process, the first revelation leads to another and then another, until the “seven seals of revelation” and the “seven chakras” are opened, the “Book of Life” or “Akashic Record” is opened. One “sees” the Divine Light of God that is within and pervades all, feels the overwhelming, ultimate ecstacy of God’s love, and realizes the comprehensive, “all knowingness” of God’s Cosmic Consciousness.
Very few human beings have experienced or realized the highest level of human consciousness, the Avatar-Buddha-Christ Consciousness. For it is a rare individual who, if only for an eternal moment, fortuitously realizes their true Self, which is the true Self of all, and thus became selfless (having transcended ego). And rarer still are the individuals whose realization is more lasting, and more complete, and most religions are based on the reports of such individuals, or a collection of such reports over time.
But, all human beings die and pass on, and they were only human and were not infallible. Even those that fully realized their “oneness” with God were not actually God. They were merely aware of God, and some were more aware than others. But they were not perfect, and what they actually taught was not perfectly expressed or perfectly preserved, which is why we find exaggerations, interpretations and opinions in all religious texts that were written and copied and translated, which we now consider the basis for the religions of the world.
Nevertheless, and in spite of the human tendency toward cultural bias, racism and ethnocentrism, religions were fairly successfully established essentially to teach people that the human ego, the separate-self, can be tempted by self-interest, self-righteousness, self-importance, and greed, and that we should overcome such temptations and tendencies, seek the higher good, foster a sense of family, of kinship, of unity, cooperation and collaboration, and share the common wealth for the common good.
Most religions, though, have a strong element of ethnic and national pride, because they reflect the ethnicity of their founders and prophets. Still, at the heart of the most profound teachings based on spirituality and divine inspiration is the realization that God is infinite and eternal, and above and beyond the material concerns of Man — beyond nations and their governments — and that the most essential universal truths are relevant to all peoples and all nations and all governments. That is, God and the real truth are universal, and for the benefit of all humanity and the world.
However, too many religions today revert toward ethnic and racial and nationalistic pride, and rather than being beneficial to humanity by focusing on universal spiritual truths, they are counterproductive because they are driven by the material concerns of egocentric and ethnocentric Man. That is why we have “holy wars” in which people fight over the nature and name of God, and over the “will of God.” And that is why we must return to the roots of religion.
The Roots of Religion and a More Accurate Idea of God
The roots of the world's major religions really stem from the same spirit-seed, the same spirit foundation, the same spiritual realization or awareness of the divine reality that is within, around and above us. But, as has been mentioned, because Man cannot fathom God in its infinite entirety, the religions of mankind all have different concepts of it, and today there are conflicts over those concepts.
That is why it is useful to know that, regarding the roots of religion, modern Archaeology now informs us that the history of religion goes back much further than was previously thought, and apparently the human ego acknowledged the existence of a Divinity greater than itself long before any of the religions of today existed.
A National Geographic article on Göbekli Tepe tells us about an archaeological site in Turkey revealing the oldest known religious temple dating back 11,600 years. Its discovery has changed old theories about the origin and the importance of religion in the development of civilization, because prior to its discovery it was thought religion developed much later.
Only 20 years ago most scientists and archaeologists believed they knew the time, place, and events of what they call the Neolithic Revolution, which they believed was the turning point of the history of humanity resulting in the birth of agriculture. That, they thought, took humans from being small tribal hunter-gatherers to larger farming villages and then to relatively technological larger societies with great temples and kings and priests who ruled their subjects and recorded their accomplishments in symbols, images and writing.
It had been thought that the Neolithic Revolution was a singular and sudden event, an "Enlightenment" of its time, that occurred in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The consensus was that it then spread to India, Europe and beyond, and they thought the phenomenon was brought about by environmental changes that allowed it to take place.
However, recent discoveries suggest a far more logical scenario, that the crucial turning point in the evolution of humanity actually occurred across a huge area over thousands of years. And it is logical to conclude that it was not only in the Mid-East, but in other places in the Eastern Hemisphere and in the Western Hemisphere as well.
Archaeologists have discovered that human beings established permanent dwellings and granaries to store wheat and barley 11,600 years ago, and about nine thousand years ago they began to domesticate animals for food. We now know that the people of the Mid-East and the “Fertile Crescent” were the luckiest people on earth because they had natural plants like wheat and barley, and the animals suitable for domestication, like goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, etc. However, even though that gave them a head start in terms of civilization, over time they over-exploited their environment, and that’s when the people, agricultural plants and domesticated animals of the Fertile Crescent began to spread to Egypt, and to the East, then to Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
God, the Great Spirit-Parent of humanity, helped humanity in this process, being the Supreme or “Cosmic” Consciousness of which we are naturally part, and which we may realize through divine revelation. But, that had nothing to do with what we know as religion, because religions are simply Man’s attempt to explain what he realizes from within, which is God.
Mankind surely realized God in prehistoric times. However, the oldest surviving religion with written scriptures, the oldest living religion, Hinduism, was intended to teach us that a longing for connection to God existed long before written language, and is innate in all human beings. After all, Yoga, in Sanskrit, means union with Brahman (God).
That is not to say that Hinduism is perfect, because no religion established by Man is perfect. After all, Hinduism teaches that a class or caste system is appropriate, and it also teaches that God is both creator and destroyer, as does Judaism. However, while it is true that the process of creation and evolution every thing that is created also is destroyed, that does not mean that God is the destroyer. That is an instance in which Hinduism and Judaism are in error. In fact, in certain instances the scriptures of Judaism apparently imply that the Lord God not only creates good, but also actually creates evil and wickedness. However, such concepts are problematic not only because they may simply be wrong, but also because some of them are grossly misunderstood. And they are misunderstood because they were not meant literally.
God cannot override the free will of the ego of Man. If God could create evil and wickedness in people, then God could create good and kindness in people, and if that were possible all humanity would be good and kind to each other. Furthermore, if one believes that God destroys as well as creates, believes that God creates evil as well as good, and that every event that occurs is because God caused or willed it, then one must conclude that Adolf Hitler actually served "the will of the Lord," as he claimed he did in his book and in his speeches as he was rising to power.
If one believes that God creates evil as well as good, then one much conclude that God has caused good people to be killed in natural disasters or wars, women to be raped, and innocent children to suffer and die from hunger, or be molested and even killed by pedophiles. It would mean that God causes innocent infants and toddlers to suffer and die of hunger, malnutrition, diseases or catastrophic events.
God our Great Spirit-Parent would not do that, nor would God allow evil if it were possible for God to stop it. For our Creator and God is just, forgiving, merciful, and beneficent. When we suffer from evil and destructive events, it is not because of God. It is for the most part because of the sin, wickedness, carelessness, and errors of human beings who have harmed the environment and/or their fellow human beings, or exploited and taken advantage of them.
The logic that concludes that God causes everything is not merely absurd. That logic is flawed and extremely harmful, because it can enable and has enabled deluded madmen to justify themselves, thinking they aren't responsible. After all, if it were true that some supernatural force outside one's self causes evil and wickedness, madmen can assume they serve God in committing horrible acts of destruction and murder. It enables them to believe that God made them the way they are, and that God either made them do it or somehow approved it. And that is simply not true.
That is why we must recognize that it was not God that made them deluded, nor was it God who made them commit evil acts. God does not create evil and wickedness. Man does. God, and the Ancient One who is our Highest Self, wants us to love one another, express God's love and mercy in the world, and not do anything harmful to anyone.
Despite that, many people have believed and still believe that everything is God’s will, that everything is according to "God’s Plan," and that there are no accidents. It can be a comforting thought in certain instances. It can help us rationalize that bad things happen for a good reason somehow. But, even though some bad things turn out to be "blessings in disguise," it’s not true that God caused the bad things.
The old saying that “Everything happens for a reason” does not mean a Superman-Magician God made it happen. Things "happens for a reason" because there is a natural law of cause and effect, because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and because there are karmic consequences (whether good or bad) for everything that is said and done. Moreover, there is an inexplicable, mysterious consciousness and energy in the Universe, which is "God" in the most ethereal sense of the word, or what is called "angels," that can produce events and circumstances that we cannot explain or understand.
However, God is not an entity outside of ourselves who causes all events or makes all things. God does not directly cause natural disasters, diseases, pestilence, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, wars, or any of the other events that plague the world. Even though prophets foresaw them, it does not mean God causes them. In fact, Man is either directly or indirectly the cause of all that plagues the world, and God does not cause Man to be evil or wicked. A deluded ego causes that.
It is through us that God’s will is done in the world, and when we do truly good works that are to the benefit of humanity, God’s will is done. However, Man has free will and can choose to ignore and betray God, and Man can fool and delude himself and justify himself by thinking and believing that he is actually obeying God and doing the "right" thing.
Man deludes himself because he has indulged in what Moses called “the forbidden fruit from the knowledge of good and evil.” That's when Man chooses to play god and judge others against God’s will. But that scenario depicted by Moses in the book of Genesis was written as an allegory, pointing to the fact that when Man indulges in judgmental egotism he disobeys and betrays God.
Fortunately, we have not only a separate-self-ego and self-consciousness, but also a sub-consciousness and conscience, and a super-consciousness. The super-consciousness is our inner or higher self, which is connected to God and the Ancient One which is in heaven with God. The higher self or super-consciousness of all human beings is connected with God and the Ancient One (who was "before Abraham") at that highest state of consciousness, and thus we are all connected and one in the Spirit.
We may recognize and realize that from within through God-given divine revelation which comes as a gift when you least expect it, for no amount of prayer or study or effort can achieve it. No human being can give it to you, nor can you keep it. It is given to us only by God when we are ready. It reveals our connection and oneness with the Spirit of truth, which brings about the realization of our actual spiritual oneness with God and all humanity.
That cannot be explained, of course, but even though God may never be explained by Man, modern sciences have made great leaps in their effort to explain God and religion.
God According To Scientists Like Einstein
Many open-minded scientists realize, as the scientific genius Albert Einstein said: "Religion without science is blind, and science without religion is lame."
Einstein also said: "All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling Man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."
Even though Einstein was not a religious man, he was quite right in that observation. He also observed that "even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other" there are "strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies" as each aspires for truth that furthers Man’s understanding of his world.
Einstein further said: “Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature."
He said human beings can feel "the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves in nature ... and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole."
He said: "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself as something separated from the rest... [but that is] a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness."
Interestingly, he said: "A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms--it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude."
Even more telling: "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."
Further: "Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent, in fact, I am religious."
Educated people who gain true wisdom always arrive at similar conclusions, whether they consider themselves divinely inspired or not. And that is because the realization of the divine reality or the witnessing of the Divine Light within does not necessarily come in the context of religion. It is above and beyond that.
However, it should be noted that Einstein did not believe in a personal god, or in God as a person, or in a “Superman” God. He said: "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists." (Spinoza was one of the initiators of “The Enlightenment” period mentioned earlier.)
In fact, Einstein stated: "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves." He said: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one." And: "I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."
Einstein was right about not believing in God as a person or personal god, because that's not what God is, as has been discussed. However, Einstein, like all men, was fallible. He had the right idea about a lot of things, but he was not correct about everything, especially about the soul. He ridiculed the idea that there is a human spirit-soul that will exist after the mortal body dies, calling such belief the height of egotism. But the height of egotism is not belief in the soul, because the great eternal "I am that I am" is infinitely greater than the human ego's sense of "I am but won't be when I'm dead."
What we are, and what we are part of, is far greater than these fragile bodies and limited egos that we are given to experience this world. And what we are, in essence, is eternal. What "you" are at the highest level of your consciousness will still exist when your body passes away. Our consciousness and what we really are is not dependent upon his body, or this world. It will continue to exist. It is one with that which was, is, and always will be.
Science has yet to put its finger on it, but we're getting closer and closer. For example, the discovery of the Higgs Boson "God Particle" is promising because the the latest theory is that it's an invisible particle without which humans and all the other combined sets of atoms in the Universe would not exist.
One day it will be common knowledge that science and true religion are compatible.